persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \pər-ˈsi-stənt, -ˈzi-\

Definition of persistent 

1 : existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously: such as

a : retained beyond the usual period a persistent leaf

b : continuing without change in function or structure persistent gills

c : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent

d : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides

e : remaining infective for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses

2a : continuing or inclined to persist in a course

b : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

Examples of persistent in a Sentence

Contrary to persistent myth, Hoover was an activist. — Steve Forbes, Forbes, 30 June 2008 The high-water mark of such truckling might be the publication of the Cato Institute report "America's Record Trade Deficit: A Symbol of Strength." Freedom had become slavery; persistent deficits had become economic power. — Eric Janszen, Harper's, February 2008 The silence started from your end just about the time you said good-bye to dear St. Elizabeth and it has been constant and persistent ever since. — Archibald Macleish, letter, 11 July 1959 We were nagged by a persistent salesman. He is one of the government's most persistent critics. She has been persistent in pursuing the job. He has been fighting a persistent cold. Flooding has been a persistent problem in the area this year. Persistent rumors that the business is for sale have alarmed the staff.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Women at Google have repeatedly complained about persistent pay gaps at the company. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Google announces changes to sexual harassment policies after global employee walkout," 8 Nov. 2018 Since then, the persistent performer has tried—and failed—more than a dozen times to make it on the NBC reality show. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Why Fans of 'The Voice' Can’t Stop Talking About Matt Johnson’s Blind Audition," 21 Oct. 2018 Misinformation campaigns pushed out by ‘bots, increasing use of satellites and drones, and persistent cyberattacks pose unique threats to the United States. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Will Teach Computer Coding Like a Foreign Langauge," 13 Sep. 2018 While many people recover in a few days without treatment, sometimes dehydration due to persistent diarrhea can require hospitalization. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Recognize Salmonella Symptoms If You've Eaten Contaminated Products," 24 July 2018 The Drug Shortages Task Force will assess the reason behind the persistent drug shortages and look for ways to solve them. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: ACLU asks court to force government to pay cost of reuniting migrant families," 13 July 2018 After eight years, the Television Academy has kicked its persistent Modern Family habit. refinery29.com, "The Most Perplexing, Disappointing & Surprising Emmy Snubs," 12 July 2018 One persistent lie: this was all Kentae’s fault — the boy killed himself. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "DeKalb dad claims autistic son, 10, killed himself — then admits lie," 12 July 2018 Drug dealing has always been a major character in the persistent myth of the scourge of black criminality in rap music. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persistent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of persistent

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for persistent

Latin persistent-, persistens, present participle of persistere — see persist

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for persistent

The first known use of persistent was in 1826

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More Definitions for persistent

persistent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of persistent

: continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop

: continuing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time : not stopping or going away

persistent

adjective
per·​sist·​ent | \pər-ˈsi-stənt \

Kids Definition of persistent

: continuing to act or exist longer than usual a persistent cold

Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \-tənt \

Medical Definition of persistent 

1 : existing or continuing for a long time: as

a : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent

b : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides

c : remaining infective for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses

2 : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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